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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    Real development in RoR

    I'm looking into building a web based software product I hope can develop into a business for me in the future. I'm a .NET developer by day and like to experiment with other technologies in my free time. Lately I've been checking out Python and RoR. I've been somewhat impressed by RoR and thought about building this software using it. That is my issue.

    If I used .NET I could build it pretty quickly, have fewer issues since I know it so well already, and understand the deployment procedures for .NET web applications. On the flip side, if I used RoR I could learn something new, and have lower entry costs since it would be built on open source software.

    What I have questions about are the deployment processes and power of the platform. How easy is it to deploy a RoR application on Apache? I'm using Locomotive locally but you have to imagine most customers will be running Apache as their web server. So that's a major concern. Next, I know I can do pretty much anything in .NET. I don't understand RoR enough to know the limitations. Everything I've seen shows how great the platform is for CRUD applications but what if you need to do a bit more. I hear AJAX is a breeze in RoR because prototype is built in but I just haven't done anything with it yet. I'm used to Atlas in the .NET framework.

    So, I'd be very thankful to hear opinions. Would you build the foundation of your potential business in RoR?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru Majglow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    I'm a .NET developer by day and like to experiment with other technologies in my free time.
    I am (used to) be a .NET developer. I started playing with ruby and RoR and have since adopted it as my choice development environment and cringe when I have to go back.

    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    If I used .NET I could build it pretty quickly, have fewer issues since I know it so well already, and understand the deployment procedures for .NET web applications. On the flip side, if I used RoR I could learn something new, and have lower entry costs since it would be built on open source software.
    Both are true, what's more important?

    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    How easy is it to deploy a RoR application on Apache?
    Very easy if you have apache 2.2 with mod_proxy & mod_proxy_balancer and mongrel. If you just have mod_proxy, you can setup a balancer (something like pound) between apache and mongrel and it's just a bit more complicated. I run all of my deployments with Apache just because it's easiest for my situations.

    My typical deployment environment is a Postgres backend, Apache 2.2 front end proxying to mongrel. My largest deployment is on 3 boxes. I have all my code in subversion and use capistrano to manage deployment. When I'm read to deploy it's as easy as typing "cap deploy" on my home system.

    Pretty much everything else is automated including backups to other servers at the datacenter as well as a server I have at home (which I burn nightly to DVDs and store). There is a pretty steep learning curve, but once you get over it everything just seems to flow nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    I don't understand RoR enough to know the limitations. Everything I've seen shows how great the platform is for CRUD applications but what if you need to do a bit more.
    I've never found any limitations with Rails. In fact, it's way more flexible than .NET in that you have the vastly dynamic features of ruby available to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    I hear AJAX is a breeze in RoR because prototype is built in but I just haven't done anything with it yet.
    It is.
    Ohai!

  3. #3
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    The biggest weakness you might face coming from the .NET world: it's not easy to set up "wizard" type interfaces like .NET 2.0 can. Most models operate on an "update everything at once when the form submits" mentality and it's not always easy to change that.

    Deploying on Apache is pretty easy. I recommend using Mongrel to create a cluster and mod_proxy_balancer if these are dedicated servers. If it's shared hosting, talk with your host for their recommended Rails cnofiguration.


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